My favorite weekend getaways

I love getting away on vacation and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, but sometimes I can’t afford a week long trip somewhere, so I try to take little weekend getaways here and there. Living in Minnesota it’s a MUST to escape winter and go somewhere warm!  Below are some of my favorite weekend getaway spots.

New Orleans
I have a soft spot in my heart for New Orleans because I spent a full week down there after Hurricane Katrina to help gut and rebuild the communities. Ever since then I try to get to New Orleans as much as I can to help support the city and try to bring it back to it’s glory days. On my most recent visit I left Friday night and came back Sunday night. It was so much fun!  We stayed right in the French Quarter at the Omni Royal Orleans where we could walk to everything. Bourbon street is the famous area but there is so much more to see than just Bourbon street. Most of the restaurants have live jazz or blues music playing at night. It’s fun just to walk, listen to the music, and get engulfed in the New Orleans energy. My wife and I were very surprised at the quality of shopping and spent a whole day browsing stores. We also hit up the Harrah’s casino and went on a Haunted Ghost Tour at night. New Orleans is supposedly one of the most haunted cities.

The food down there is to die for (no pun intended after talking about the ghost tour). You have to stop at Café DuMonde to get some famous beignets. But don’t inhale because you’ll choke from all the powdered sugar.  The architecture is beautiful and hearing about the history of the buildings is very interesting. Jackson Square has great architecture and if you walk around there at night you’ll see lots of street performers, Tarot card readers and psychics. This might be my favorite weekend getaway!

Las Vegas
Vegas is another fun place to go for the weekend. Obviously the gambling is a big draw but there is so much more to do there besides gamble. There are world-class shows, award-winning restaurants from world-renowned chefs, and of course people watching. Might be one of the best places just to sit back and view the hustle and bustle. There are a lot of free shows you can watch like the fountains at the Bellagio or the pirate show at Treasure Island. Right now you can get great deals on a 3-night getaway.

My one tip is to wear comfortable shoes and I mean very comfortable. You will do a lot of walking and the Strip is bigger than you think! Even if a building looks close it doesn’t mean it is…my wife thought she wore comfy shoes but ended up with what we call “Vegas Feet”, sore, blistery and black from walking barefoot! You can follow me on Twitter or find me on Facebook or comment on this post if you have questions on Vegas.

New York
Just like Vegas New York has a lot to do at all hours of the day. I’ve been to New York a couple times and I’m heading back this May to play golf at Bethpage Black and see the new Yankee Stadium. Can’t wait to do both! To me there are two different New Yorks. You can go and do the touristy activities, which I highly recommend, like the MET, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, etc…

Then there is the local side of New York. I have a cousin and some friends who live there so it’s fun to visit them and go to the local spots for pizza or bagels. They are usually the best. Plus, you have a good chance and bumping into a celebrity! You can’t go to New York and not walk around 5th Ave and all the shopping…yes, I’m a guy and I’ve mentioned shopping twice now…so these must be good shopping areas!

These are just a few of my favorite weekend getaways. Others on my list for this year include Boston (got to go to Fenway and the Cheers bar), Seattle, and Austin (I hear it has a great music scene). Where are some of your favorite weekend getaways?

Turn your getaway memories into a photo book
If you’ve already been to any of my favorite getaways and want to make a photo book so you can remember the great times, here are a few quick recommendations. I’ve got a few tips on styling your book, and inspirational examples to get you started.

Las Vegas photo book
– Style: our bright backgrounds like Heat Wave, Verde, and Azure will complement the vibrant quality of your Las Vegas photos. Then again, going classic with black, white, and gray will really make those lively Vegas photos pop. It’s a tough call!
– Inspiration: need a little inspiration to get started on your Vegas photo book? These examples should help

New Orleans photo book
– Style: classic black, white, and gray backgrounds will complement your vibrant photos and give everything a pulled together look
– Inspiration: want to take a look at other photo books about New Orleans for inspiration? Take a look at these examples

New York photo book
– Style: if it’s New York, I’ve got to go with the classic black background. It will make your book look sophisticated, pulled together, and ultra Big Apple
– Inspiration: Take a look at these New Orleans photo book examples from other Shutterfly customers


  1. rsheedy says

    Seattle is one of my favorite places to visit. I especially love camping in the Hoh Rainforest…absolutely gorgeous! My husband and I tend to visit a lot of national parks, and some of our favorites include Glacier, Zion and Rocky Mountain. The Canadian Rockies (Jasper & Banff) are astounding, and we would go every weekend if we could!

  2. Joey says

    Sean, this is a great article filled with great weekend get-away tips. I’m from ND, so I know what its like living in Minnesota too. Our winters are far too long and it is nice to get away. I may just book a trip this weekend!! I do like Chicago, although there’s so much to do in a weekend that one can’t pack it all in. Cheap flight though. I have been to Vegas but it was awhile ago. I think i need a vacation now to some beautiful mountains and see all the beauty there. Come home and make a photobook!!

  3. Joey says

    Sean, this is a great article and you suggested great trips for people to go for weekend getaways. I’m from ND, so I know all too well what MN and ND winters are like and it is nice to get away. Our winters are far too long! This article makes me want to pack my bags and take a quick trip somewhere. I do like Chicago, and I have been to Vegas but its been a long time. I like the simple summer get-aways of going to the lakes. Camping out and having fun. Right now, I’d like to go to the mountains and just look around, take tons of photos and enjoy nature’s beauty. Then I’d come home and make a photo book, of course!

  4. BarbaraJ says


  5. Earl J says

    What fun to read this, and with terrific photos as the icing on the cake. I’ll admit right off that these places are not on my “must see” list but it was great reading your impressions of them.

  6. says

    These are all wonderful places to visit. Wow… I have been to the Big Apple about 10 years ago and I know I would just enjoy every picture taking moment again. I have a must see city in my own back year and I admit have not been there in years. San Francisco! In addition, the city I live in, Sacramento has some incredible photographic spots. I really must explore my own back yard more!

  7. shannonr says

    nice article, I am partical to NYC since it is only a few hours from my house and I have friends I can stay with that make the trip a little more affordable. New Orleans sounds great and hopefully sometime soon we can do a weekend trip there, after reading your article I am hoping it will be within this year; my sister in law lives there and keeps trying to get us to visit. Some of the other places you mentioned also sound great and I would love to be able to take a journey there in the future.

  8. says

    I found a way to afford traveling more even though the pocket book can’t afford lots of travel. I live in Texas and decided to Explore Texas. I have been driving places in a day or staying the weekend, I walk the area and take pictures. It’s wonderful, I didn’t know Texas has som much to offer til I started looking. I have rediscovered areas like the Fort Worth Stockyards, Galveston and much more (Dallas and it’s history). I’m having alot of fun doing this and taking pictures of my experiences.

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